Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (commonly known as Sandhurst) is the British Army officer training centre. The academy is prestigious and has had many famous alumni including Sir Winston Churchill. The academy lies within the Bracknell Forest district in the former county of Berkshire, but the nearest town is Camberley in Surrey. HRH Prince Henry of Wales is presently attending Sandhurst.

All British Army officers, and many from elsewhere in the world, are trained at Sandhurst.

The commissioning course, lasting 44 weeks, must be passed by most British regular army officers before they receive their commission. It is usually preceded by the Regular Commissioning Board and followed by a further training course specific to the Corps the officer will serve in. Shorter commissioning courses are run for "professionally qualified officers" (eg, doctors, dentists, nurses, vets and chaplains) and Territorial Army officers.

Sandhurst also runs a variety of courses for officers, and has strong academic departments.


In overall charge of the RMAS is the Commandant, usually an officer of Major-General rank, while the Academy's Regimental Sergeant Major is the most senior individual NCO in the British Army (only Conductors of the Royal Logistic Corps rank higher than the Academy RSM, but there can be several of them at any one time). The RMAS has courses which start in January, May and September of each year. Each intake numbers approximately 270 students, each of whom joins a company. There are a total of nine companies within the RMAS, each commanded by a Major and named after a famous battle in which the British Army has fought:

  • Blenheim Company
  • Inkerman Company
  • Waterloo Company
  • Alamein Company
  • Burma Company
  • Normandy Company
  • Marne Company
  • Ypres Company
  • Gaza Company

Within a company are three platoons each of thirty officer cadets, commanded by a Captain and supported by a Colour Sergeant.

The "Short Courses" mentioned above (for Professionally-Qualified Officers and so on) are operated sequentially, and are each known as "Dettingen Company" after the Battle of Dettingen. They are divided into platoons under captains and colour sergeants like the regular intakes, though smaller courses may consist of only two.


RMA Sandhurst was formed in 1947, from the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich (which trained officers for the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers from 1741 to 1939) and the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.

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